Autoportrait

Copied Man Ray, Autoportrait, 1933, mixed media: bronze, glass, wood, and newsprint, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Juliet Man Ray, 1983.105.2

Artwork Details

Title
Autoportrait
Artist
Date
1933
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
148 145 38 in. (35.621.113.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Juliet Man Ray
Mediums Description
mixed media: bronze, glass, wood, and newsprint
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation — art — painter
  • Occupation — art — photographer
  • Dress — accessory — eye wear
  • Portrait male — Man Ray — head
  • Portrait male — Man Ray — self-portrait
  • Occupation — art — sculptor
Object Number
1983.105.2

Artwork Description

Man Ray created this self-portrait in Paris, intending for it to appear on the cover of a book of his photographs. A bronze cast of his face, wearing the artist's glasses, mocks the tradition of memorializing great men with death masks. The cast is cushioned in newsprint like a corpse in a coffin. Autoportrait suggests an artist entombed in his reputation and belies Man Ray's brave assertion "I simply try to be as free as possible . . . The work is done. I have total freedom."

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006